Wreckage lies strewn at the scene of the Russian Metrojet air crash in Sinai the cause of the disaster is far from clear. Rough cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT - NO REPORTER NARRATION The wreckage of a Russian airliner carrying 224 passengers that crashed in Egypt killing all on board lay scattered along the Sinai peninsula's mountainous dry landscapes on Saturday (October 31). The Airbus A321, operated by Russian airline Kogalymavia under the brand name Metrojet, was flying from the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh to St Petersburg in Russia when it went down in central Sinai soon after daybreak, the aviation ministry said. A militant group affiliated to Islamic State in Egypt, Sinai Province, said in a statement it had brought down the plane "in response to Russian airstrikes that killed hundreds of Muslims on Syrian land", but Russia's Transport Minister told Interfax news agency the claim "can't be considered accurate". An Egyptian security officer at the site who requested anonymity told Reuters by telephone that he saw a "tragic scene" with many bodies on the ground, some still strapped to their seats. Both black boxes of the plane had been found, Mohamed Hossam Kemal, the civil aviation minister, told a news conference. Kemal said communications between the plane and air traffic control before the crash had been normal and that nothing irregular had occurred before the accident. Egyptian Prime Minister Sherif Ismail also told the news conference that there did not appear to be any unusual activity behind the crash but the facts would not be clear until further investigations had been carried out. Ismail said 129 bodies had so far been removed and the chances of finding survivors were now near-impossible. Two of Europe's largest airlines, Lufthansa and Air France-KLM, said they would avoid flying over the Sinai peninsula while awaiting an explanation on the cause of the crash.